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How to Successfully Engage your Seat mate During Long Flights

-Originally published on The Mileage Club

When most of us get on a plane, we tend to listen to our music, read our magazines, etc. Basically we do anything except speak to the person sitting next to us. While this is a perfectly adequate situation for most travelers, there may be some cases where you will actually want to strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger. This may be because talking with another may make the flight seem less miserable. Or maybe you are business or sales professional who is always looking to make that next big connection. Whatever the case, there are several ways that you can engage your seat mate with a minimum amount of awkwardness. Here are a few tips to consider.

Know when to engage and when not to
The first step in appropriately beginning a conversation with your seat mate is to be completely sure that your seatmate actually wants to be spoken to. Read their non-verbal cues. If the person sits down and immediately puts on their headphones or lays their head back and closes their eyes, it may be a sign that they are perfectly content being left alone. The last thing you would want to do, particularly on a long flight, is to irritate someone right off the bat, therefore making any further conversation a no-go.

Just be yourself, be relaxed
Regardless of why you have chosen to speak to your seat mate, just remember to be yourself and the conversation should go smoothly. If you are a business professional looking to meet a new client, follow the same tactics as you would with any individual you might meet at a sales conference or other business function. Asking what the other person does for a living is a perfectly acceptable; just don’t forget to keep the conversation about them. If you are just a person who likes to talk, start by saying “hello” and seeing where it goes. Finally, it may go without saying but stay away from topics that you wouldn’t discuss with any other stranger, those topics include religion, politics or anything you wouldn’t say to your mother.

Use some common conversation starters
Since you are sitting inches from your neighbor in an airtight chamber 39,000 feet in the air, you may think that there is not much to talk about. Think again. Air travel offers all types of openers that can help you to easily engage your seat mate. You could ask the person where they are flying. If it sounds like an exotic location, ask them if they are going on vacation. You could also start a conversation by asking if the other person flies often. If they do, ask them what they do for a living. In the end, it is a good idea to be easy going and open for conversation because you never know whom you might meet.

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Best Vacation Spots for Big Families

-Originally published on The Mileage Club

It can be tough to go on vacation with a big family. Large groups can be more difficult to plan for, especially when it comes to booking a hotel, getting from here to there and the fact that everyone wants to do different activities. Luckily, there are several vacation spots that you can visit that are perfect for big families. Here are a few of the best vacation spots for your brood.

Go on a road trip

If you have a big family, you can turn one vacation spot into many with a fun family road trip. It doesn’t matter what country you live in, there is always a far-reaching road with tons of things to see and do wherever you are. What is great about a trip like this is that as you are driving along, you will see all sorts of fun attractions and beautiful landscapes, and with so much to see, there is bound to be something of interest for everyone in your large family.

For instance, during your long drive, you might see a museum or other educational spot for the high school student in your group. Older family members may just like to take in the many gorgeous landscapes and natural monuments along the way. There are many different quirky sights to see on a trip as well, such as the world’s biggest ball of twine or the rock that looks like a man’s face, which almost everyone in the family would enjoy.

Take a cruise

There really is nothing as exciting as traversing the wide open oceans of our planet, and there is no better way to do that then with a fun family cruise. A great one to choose is the highly rated Disney Cruise Line. Don’t be fooled by the Disney aspect, this cruise truly has everything you and your large family could want. Kids can enjoy the Disney characters while adults can partake in the bars and adult nightclubs aboard the ship. Finally, a Disney cruise liner comes equipped with activities that the whole family will enjoy, from large pools and deck parties to spas and live shows. 

Enjoy a ski trip

Since you’ve got your summers covered with a fun tropical cruise, where do you take your large family during the winter? As another of the best vacation spots for large families, a ski trip can offer activities for everyone from kids to adults. Anyone with the ability will surely enjoy skiing and there is always slopes fit for every skill level. Grandparents and others who may not feel comfortable skiing can enjoy the many other fun activities ski lodges offer such as snowshoe tours and ice-skating, and everyone can unwind at the end the day in a relaxing spa or hot tub.

There are tons of fun vacations you and your family can enjoy. Sometimes you need to make your own adventure so get out there and see the world!

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The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Ranked #1 for 2015

-Originally published on Business World Travel

This year, Alaska Airlines was awarded the commendation of having the best airline rewards plan in the skies by U.S. News & World Travel. The awards are based on many factors including flight options, network coverages and how easy it is to earn a free flight. Although other airlines came close, the Alaska Airlines mileage plan simply outshined the rest. There are several factors that separated Alaska Airlines from the herd.

Availability of flights

Although it may seem obvious by the name, Alaska Airlines services fewer destinations than some of its competition. Still, for travelers flying out and between Alaska and many cities on the west coast, the service and perks of the mileage plan are just too great to ignore. The best part is that the airline is extending its reach, allowing travelers from as far east as Florida to get a seat aboard the airline.

Acquiring points is a piece of cake

As with any mileage plan, the name of the game is getting the points necessary to feel the perks of your efforts. When you get your miles with Alaska Airlines, you can easily gain your perks by either flying with the airline or through more conventional methods like spending your money on hotels, retail outlets, buying points though a website like The Mileage Club, and even flying with the 15 amazing partner airlines. Plus, when you gain enough points for a free flight, you can either use these miles with Alaska Airlines or with said partners. Once you choose the airline that you desire, you can spend your points on cabin upgrades including transfers from coach to first class.

The flights are worth the effort

If the mileage perks aren’t enough of a reason to sign up, the amazing flights consistently prove why the Alaska Airlines is worth looking into. Coach seating alone will gives you a flight experience so thrilling that you may forget you’re aboard a plane. The airline has taken it upon themselves to improve the customer service by offering better entertainment options, delectable food options, the best in customer service and amazingly comfortable leather seats.

First class amps it up a bit

Use your miles in first class and get service and amenities so great that you may never want to leave your seat! Easily one of the best reasons to sign up for the Alaska Airlines mileage plan, a seat in first class guarantees a top-notch flight. The leather seats give maximum comfort while also supplying extra legroom and five inches of recline. The dinner menu offers complimentary food options that are equal to the best five-star restaurants. Best of all, travelers have technology at their fingertips with individual entertainment players, available Wi-Fi and the ability to plug in your computers and mp3 players.

All in all, Alaska Airlines continues to provide an amazing product, and it is that dedication that keeps customers coming back for more.

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